Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Lessons Learned During a Dinner Out with My Boys
Last night I treated the boys to dinner at the Cracker Barrel. Cracker Barrel is Michael's absolute favorite restaurant! We had some great food and a great time just chatting. I had a great time just observing my kids. As I was watching them, I thought about the lessons we can learn from our kids.
As we were walking into the restaurant, there was a group of people following behind us. I was telling the host how many we needed a table for when I looked and couldn't find Michael. He was standing holding the door as more and more people came in. Later as we were waiting for our food, we started to see flashes of light from a camera coming from behind us. The ladies behind us were trying to take their own picture. Michael quickly jumped up and asked them if they would like for him to take a picture for them. As we were leaving, a lady had done some Christmas shopping and had many packages. Michael could see her struggling and asked her if she would like him to help her carry her bags to her car. Michael has taught me courtesy.
When we were ordering our food, the boys were having a problem trying to decide what they wanted. The waiter was kind of lingering at our table despite having been told we needed a few minutes. Neil finally looked up and said very nicely but firmly, "would you please come back in 5 minutes?" Throughout our meal, our waiter would forget about us and many times, Neil would say loudly but firmly, "excuse me, my mom needs more drink" or " Can we please get our apple butter" and at one point, "my brother really needs a new fork". He always followed up with a please or thank you. Neil has taught me polite assertivenesss.
Daniel ordered a big meal that had the waiter raising his eyebrows. As he was eating, he noticed Neil had already finished up his food and was looking around. He asked him if he wanted some of his stuff. He saw that Neil was hesitant and went ahead and gave him portions of his food. Daniel also offered Michael some food and offered me a taste of his drink. This is a common act during dinner or anytime really. Daniel has taught me sharing.
I love spending time with my kids and observing their actions. There are many times when I am so frustrated with the bickering and yelling but more often than not these are the images that are painted with their actions. The stifled giggles and sneaky tricks to snatch a crumb off the other's plates. The conversations of "oh hey, did you see or did you know" and the responses of "wow, that's cool and you're so lucky". I only pray that as they grow older they continue to learn from each other and keep the bond of brotherhood that they currently share.